5Th Thai-Laos Mekong Friendship Bridge

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    2012-1228 - TTR Weekly - Plans for fifth Mekong bridge unfold


    TTR Weekly

    Plans for fifth Mekong bridge unfold

    December 28, 2012 by Wanwisa Ngamsangchaikit

    BUNG KAN, 28 December 2012: Construction of a bridge, across the Mekong River that will connect Thailand’s Bung Kan province and Bolikhamxai province in Laos will start December 2013.

    Thailand’s Ministry of Transport permanent secretary, Sornsak Sansombat, said a plan to increase bilateral trade, investment, tourism and transportation between the two nations included a project to build a bridge across the Mekong River connecting Thailand and Laos via Bung Kan.

    “The project is currently in its initial stages with a blueprint being penned by relevant officials. Construction of the bridge is expected to begin at the end of 2013.”

    Third Mekong Friendship Bridge

    He added: “Once completed, the bridge will also serve as a major transport route between Thailand and several cities in Vietnam.”

    From Bolikhamxai, the Lao national highway 8 leads to the Vietnamese border at Nge An province in the north central coastal region. The route then extends to Hanoi and Danang and other central and northern towns in Vietnam. From Thailand to Vietnam the distance is just 150 km border to border.

    The Lao-Thai joint commission on bilateral cooperation agreed, last April, at a meeting in Vientiane, to build the bridge based on the benefits that have been gained from three bridges that have already been opened. The fourth bridge at Chiang Khong will open late next year.

    There are three Lao-Thai Friendship Bridges across the Mekong River.

    The first connects Nong Khai province in Thailand with Vientiane in Laos and the second connects Mukdahan province in Thailand with Savannakhet province in Laos. The Third Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge connects the northeastern Thai province of Nakhon Phanom with Khammouan province in central Lao PDR.

    Meanwhile, a fourth bridge is under construction to connect Thailand’s Chiang Kong in Chiang Rai and Huay Xai in Bokeo province in Laos. The bridge spans were closed 12 December, but it will take between six to nine months to complete access roads and other facilities before it will open to traffic

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